[tlhIngan Hol] new words: the mycelial network

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Mon Nov 20 17:07:32 PST 2017

When living in the US, I found it very strange that menus would often just say something contained "mushrooms", which to me could imply anything from truffles to destroying angels.
However, I've since learned that the word I use for this type of mushroom, "champinjon", is similarly vague, referring to the entire genus of agaricus, which apart from many delicious mushrooms also contains several poisonous varieties.

I guess the Klingon word {'atlhqam} is pretty much the reverse of that: Instead of totum pro parte (naming a part after the whole), they do pars pro toto (naming the whole after a part).

Wikipedia has some other interesting examples of this sort of naming:



20 nov. 2017 kl. 15:24 skrev Lieven <levinius at gmx.de<mailto:levinius at gmx.de>>:


someone recently pointed at me that it's weird that the "mycelial network" is called {'atlhqam SIr'o'}, while the 'atlhqam seems to be a special kind of mushroom native to Kronos (as described in KGT). Here is a long and nice explanation (or even "ret qon" from Okrand):

For the archive: this is printed in qepHom 2017, page 16.
MO: For the "mycelial network", Maltz suggests you use the word {SIr'o'}. It can mean "web" or "mesh" and perhaps also "lattice" or "nexus." He said that's the word you'd use to describe the complex road map you and I talked about.

LLL: The mycelial network described in Star Trek: Discovery is referred to as {'atlhqam SIr'o'} in the subtitles. But according to the book "Klingon for the Galactic Traveler", the {'atlhqam} is a type of fungus native to Kronos, "usually scraped off the bottom of certain animals’ feet".

MO: Technically, {'atlhqam} refers to a specific type of fungus, not fungi in general.

But apparently it's a really common type of fungus (at least one commonly used in food) because it's the word the Klingons used when they encountered Earth mushrooms. As you know, the Klingon way to say "mushroom" (referring to a particular kind of fungus they found on Earth, not a Klingon thing) is {tera' yav 'atlhqam}. This suggests that although the typical {'atlhqam} is found on the feet of some sort of Klingon animal or on Klingon trees, there's another kind of {'atlhqam} that grows in or on the ground (this would be a {yav 'atlhqam}). And the {yav 'atlhqam} must have some similarities to the mushroom found on Earth (but not be exactly alike) so that they call the Earth thing by the name of the Klingon thing closest to it and we get {tera' yav 'atlhqam}.

Apparently {tera' yav 'atlhqam} refers to any kind of Earth mushroom, and there are zillions. For all I know there are a zillion kinds of Klingon {yav 'atlhqammey} also. Anyway, if there are at least several different kinds of Klingon {yav 'atlhqam}, that word – well, noun compound – may well refer to different kinds of Klingon fungi.

Furthermore, since whatever grows on the animals' feet probably doesn't look at all like an Earth mushroom (though, of course, I could be wrong about this), I suspect the foot-bottom 'atlhqam also doesn't look much like the Klingon {yav 'atlhqam} either. But they must have something in common; otherwise Klingons wouldn't consider the {yav 'atlhqam} to be a kind of {'atlhqam}. So {'atlhqam} (without the {yav}) seems to refer to lots of different kinds of Klingon fungi.

The point of all this is that there are a number of different Klingon things and Earth things are all called {'atlhqam}. So even though, technically, {'atlhqam} is not a general term corresponding to English "fungus" or "mycelium" or anything like that, it seems to cover a lot of different fungus-like things. So, in non-scientific, everyday speech, it seems to function as a general term for "fungus."

This information from #qepHom2017 will be added to the page "Message from Maltz" on qepHom.de<http://qepHom.de>:

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"
tlhIngan-Hol mailing list
tlhIngan-Hol at lists.kli.org<mailto:tlhIngan-Hol at lists.kli.org>
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